In this guide, I will show you how to view hidden files and folders in Windows and Mac.
Windows system at times hides the file or folder so that a user is not able to see it when accessing other files and folders. As per Windows, there are 2 types of files or folders which are classified as hidden.
1. Files and Folders hide by user knowingly.
2. System hidden files which are very important for the smooth functioning of Windows, they are hidden to avoid deleting and modification because any modification in these files can damage the operating system.
It is very important for a user to know how to access and view these hidden files or folders because you may need to access those for your personal requirement or to repair a problem on your computer which requires you to access system hidden files.
- 1 How to view hidden files and folders in Windows 7, 8 and 10?
- 2 How to view hidden files in MAC?
- 3 How to hide files and folders in Windows 10?
You have to follow these steps to view the hidden files and system hidden files in Windows.
Step 1. From the Windows Desktop Screen, select the Control Panel application.
Step 2. Control Panel will open and now you have to select the “More Settings” option at the very bottom.
Step 3. A traditional Windows Control Panel will now open.
Step 4. Click on “Appearance and Personalization”.
Step 5. Now the “Appearance and Personalization” section will open. In that section, click on “Folder or File Explorer Options”.
Step 6. In “Folder Options” click on View Tab.
Step 7. In Advanced settings, click on radio button name “Show hidden files, folders and devices” and click OK button.
Step 8. Below there is a checkbox named “Hide extensions for known file types”, remove the checkmark from that checkbox.
Step 9. Below that there is another last checkmark named “Hide protected operating system files”, remove the checkmark from that checkbox too. A popup warning will appear seeking permission from the user to display these hidden system operating files, click on YES.
Step 10. Press the apply button and OK button at the bottom of the folder options section.
Step 11. Close the Control Panel Window, you can now see all files, folders, and drivers hidden in Windows.
Step 12. You can check if they are hidden by accessing C drive and looking for a program named “Program Data”.
Step 13. A greyed out icon will be seen named “ProgramData” thereby enabling you to view hidden files and folders.
2. View Hidden files and Folders using search option
Step 1. Click on the start button and go to the search box.
Step 2. Type “Regedit” in the search box and press enter.
Step 3. A Window named User Account Control will pop up, click on Yes so as to confirm that you are an administrator.
Step 4. You have to find this key in regedit
Step 5. Click on advanced Window and go to the right side were the values can be seen, find the value hidden and click on it.
Step 6. Right click on it, a popup named Edit DWord (32-bit) will appear on screen, change the value to 1.
These are a few methods, implemented to view the hidden files or folders on Windows. If you want to view hidden files on Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10, it can be for clearing junks, accessing data for personal reasons, for troubleshooting a bug, all the above methods will help you in completing your work successfully.
Similar to Windows, MAC OS hides some files from users. These files are system files which are very important for smooth functioning and any modification done to these files can damage the system. Also, there are special apps which enable users to hide regular files so as to protect them from prying eyes. However, you sometimes may need to access these hidden files for troubleshooting or just have to clean up for storage space. It is also possible that a user hides the files and completely forgets it. It is essential to know the methods to show hidden files and folders on MAC.
1. View Hidden files and Folders using Terminal
The terminal is a default application which can be found on Launchpad. It enables users to perform different operations using particular commands.
Step 1. Open the Terminal Application from Launchpad.
Step 2. Type the following command in the terminal window.
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool true killall Finder
This command will restart the finder and you will be able to see the hidden files.
2. Use Finder- Funter app to View Hidden Files and Folders
This application is designed particularly to display hidden files on MAC. It is available on the App Store and you can download it.
Step 1. When you open the app, its small icon appears in Menu Bar.
Step 2. You have to click this icon and then “show hidden files” radio button will appear, you have to shift that button to other side and all the hidden files or folders will be visible. I
It also provides you with the search option to type a particular file’s name and find it. You can manage all the hidden files using this app. If you need to show hidden files on MAC, for clearing junks, accessing for personal reasons, troubleshooting, and all the above methods will help you in completing your work successfully.
How to hide files and folders in Windows 10?
There are always some important files or folders, secret data which you do not want anyone to see if you are sharing a PC, or there are files which you think someone may modify or delete if there is a lack of storage space, so it is advisable to hide files in such cases so that not everyone can know about it. There are two methods to hide files in Windows 10.
Hide Files and Folders in Windows 10 using File Explorer
Step 1. Open any computer drive or file explorer.
Step 2. Go to the file or folder which you will be hiding.
Step 3. Right-click the file and click on properties.
Step 4. Go to the General Tab and check to mark the hidden option in the checkbox.
Step 5. Click OK and the file or folder will be hidden.
There is another method by using the command prompt but this method is the easiest method for hiding the files and folders on Windows 10. Using this method one can successfully hide files and folders in Windows 10.